What is Persuasive Marketing?
When you ask the average person about marketing, he/she would probably think of traditional advertising methods like commercials and print ads, and maybe even online methods such as banner ads and emails offering special promos. What most of these marketing tactics have in common is that they are interruptive and informational in nature.
They try to catch the attention of their target audience by disrupting their experience of viewing media or consuming information to hard sell them a product or a service. Although this style of marketing has largely been effective for how long it’s been used, the times have changed wherein customers now have more power over what they want to view whether it’s on TV or the Internet.
TiVo lets people record the shows they want to watch allowing them to skip commercials. Netflix brings movies straight to viewers’ homes without having to see any trailers or pre-movie ads. People just stream songs through Spotify or SoundCloud with no radio advertisements. Many savvy Internet users use ad-blocking software to keep their browsing experience uncluttered. Websites are offering paid subscriptions for no ads along with premium content.
To thrive in these times of greater customer freedom, it’s time that businesses take a different approach to marketing. Instead of forcing the message to your target audience, you should look to persuasive marketing that attracts your target audience into seeking out your marketing materials that convince them to buy in through appeals to their sensibilities.
Content is Your Cornerstone
Persuasive marketing is founded on compelling content. It’s what people look for especially now that Internet usage has become an integral part in an average person’s life, providing much of the information he/she will need to make purchasing decisions. If you can give your target audience what they want, you’ve got the beginnings of a strong persuasive marketing campaign.
Of course, that content needs to go above and beyond regurgitating facts about the product or service your business is offering for it to be truly compelling. It needs to be delivered in an interesting package that understands the interests of the target audience, framing their problems in a context that they will appreciate so that you can present your product as the best solution.
Cater to Your Customers
That’s not to say that you completely ignore presenting factual information about your business’ offerings. Product descriptions and features are still necessary, but they only come later when you’ve hooked your audience with a strong message. Even better is that instead of simply listing down what is literally in the product, you explain how these features will actually benefit customers.
You also have to know who your target audience is to be able to tailor your message properly. Narrowing your target audience down through simple demographics isn’t enough. You need to go deeper into how they think and feel about particular products. Are they looking for stability and security? Do they want to stay connected to their loved ones? Would they be interested in exploring exciting new experiences? Conducting surveys to identify their personalities and purchasing habits is a must to be able to answer these questions.
Once you’ve figured out who your business best caters to, you can look into making the content element of your persuasive marketing campaign more powerful. This is accomplished by creating content that is both catch-all and in-depth, and using it as an asset that will guide future content with its scope of ideas and will also work as a root source that your future content will link back to. Doing this will give your target audience a grand scheme that can answer all of their issues whether it’s general or specific.
Trust is the Key
Pursuing that content marketing route also builds your brand’s authority in the industry. Having that authority leads to more confidence in your business, which is another essential part in persuasive marketing. When your prospective customers see that they can trust you because of your perceived authority, they will be much more likely to engage with your business and try out your products.
If you do have the resources and/or the connections, you can latch onto established figures or industry leaders to build trust faster. That’s how traditional endorsements from celebrities work, and you can apply the same principle to influencers relevant to your business’ industry.
Solidifying a partnership with endorsers can then have a domino effect in getting more people to buy into what you’re selling, as the theory of social proof comes into play. When fans of the influencer come flocking, people will see the uptick in your business’ fans and presume that what you’re offering must be good enough to attract that following.
To further strengthen your persuasive marketing campaign, show a stark contrast to what your business can do compared to a potential alternative solution. Bring up in passing what the competition is offering without elaborating, and then go into detail about how your product is better. Pointing out the difference stamps the idea upon your target audiences’ minds that your business is the superior option.
Marketers today face the challenge of much more discerning consumers with more freedom in their media experiences while having less time to pay attention to things they don’t care for. Overcoming that challenge means identifying the personalities and desires of your target audience to be able to provide them the content they want and that they can relate to. When they realize that you are dedicated to their satisfaction, you gain their trust that will lead to increased conversions and sales.